Prom with Susan B. is a little different than your normal prom pictures. I try to get out once a year and do some cool fashion, pictorial style of prom. Be it with friends or just one or two people, this gives me a chance to try different poses and techniques, and go to a unique location that I normally don’t photograph which in the end, makes it special for the prom attendee. The first few times I ventured down this path, I made it about the dress, and let’s be real – it is about the dress. I know some senior girls have been looking for their dress for Senior Prom since the day after the prom they just attended! There are screenshots on their phones, they have been to stores trying on dresses, and they have searched online for hours, days, and months looking for the dress that says “yes – prom. This is it. Me.” Sounds a little over the top, but take it from someone who didn’t have the internet when she was searching for her prom dress so many years ago. So yes. I get it. It’s a big deal.
I have photographed the prom dress in the studio, and outdoors and I even bought an actual real pink parachute to add to the fun of wearing their own dresses to make the session really fun. I have to be honest… that parachute weighs 25 lbs. It’s a lot to carry, so doesn’t get the use it should and so I am looking at getting it styled a bit but still be the sassy dress it can be for all senior girls. In 2018, I wanted to add the guys to the mix. This is their time to dress up and I was nervous they would laugh at me, but not only did they embrace it, but they also had a lot of fun with it. Cars, rooftop, dresses, tuxedos, laughter. It was the best.
Then. COVID hit. Everything came to a stop. No in-school events, sports, or activities. No. Prom. When everyone could start attending again, I grabbed my next-door neighbor Abigail and told her to bring a few of her friends before heading off to the dance and I got back into the swing of doing what I love to do. I love watching the parents take photos of their kids by adjusting their suits, helping with the corsage, and enjoying the moment watching them head off to the dance.
So when 2022 Ponderosa Senior Rachel asked me if I would photograph her prom dresses, I was all “heck yeah!” then stopped and said “dresse(S)?” Did she say dresses – plural?
Her mom, being so cool knows where to get the good deals and Rachel had 4 dresses she wanted to wear. These weren’t even contenders for what she was really going to wear to prom, but she had them, let’s show them off. I picked Highlands Ranch Mansion. If you have never been there, it’s a gorgeous place. I have never been inside – it is used for events and tours, but the outside grounds are just stunning. I have meant to add this to my lists of senior locations for sessions, many other local photographers use this place regularly but I forget about it so only having photographed here a few times, this is now one of those locations that I will save for special sessions.
Rachel, mom, and I meet up and though a little windy and a storm brewing in, I told Rachel it will make for some nice epic looks. What you won’t see in some of the images was that during the time we were there, there was a photographer with a bride and groom and another photographer there with a group of teens for their prom. The place was packed so I knew this would be another one of those editing practices… removing people from Rachel’s images. I wanted her to feel like this was her place, meant for her, and that she had full reign of the place, minus the 25 people milling around!
Rachel, a former ballerina has the poses down. So in certain dresses, I went with certain looks. Cinderella look (pink, spinning, running) Fashion, very Vogue, never engaging directly with the camera and movement. The black dress with so much tulle – I had her walk, spin, walk, walk, spin again and I made an animated gif of her walking towards me. Working on my techniques but giving her something fun from the session.
The ‘fluff’ tulle? About 7 images combined, with Rachel throwing the dress up in different stages and me assembling it in post-edit. And removing people. Lots. of. People. 🙂
By the end of the session, the winds had kicked in harder, Rachel was starting to turn a little pink from the cold so we closed the session off and we add another Prom Session with Susan B. to the pages.
Prom with Susan B. is considered a creative session as we are focusing on a prom dress alone. If you have more questions regarding Prom with Susan B., let me know!
Rachel – kisses to you and your mom, you are gorgeous! You owned that session! But I’m just going to say it – prom is better with me. 🙂